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Personal Halloway

Realized my bra and my toenail polish matched today. So that’s something I have going for me.

JOBS JOBS JOBS. Apparently my back is pretty jacked up. This means I haven’t flown since February. This means I get anywhere from two to four hours of sleep each night. This means I’m moving squadrons. This means I’m getting a new job (or two) less than five months before I separate from Active Duty in December. I mean, sure, there are reasons not to keep a brokeass has-been weapons officer around your squadron, I get the numbers issue. It is a lot better to fill that spot I’m hogging with someone capable. But… less than five months? Close to a month of that time I will be out-processing or on leave. I’m going to be a squadron executive officer (secretary) again. When I was an exec previously, I liked making the bosses look good. I liked my bosses. Best bosses I ever had. So that makes a difference. We shall see how things go in the next couple weeks. To train the guy taking over my job (new lieutenant), my shop chief lobbied for me to have two weeks of on-the-job training. I had to fight to get one damn day. This poor guy is not set up for success, and neither is the 94 people whose security clearances and training he has to manage. It’s okay though, because I get two days to learn my new jobs… yes, job with an -s… including executive officer… which is usually two weeks or longer of changeover. I feel like no one has my back right now.

Larry’s gone for a while on his duty overseas. I think it’s perfectly normal to make up songs and sing them to your dog. Or carry on entire conversations with his responses in a Scooby Doo-like voice, debating politics, fashion, and the pro’s and con’s of ingesting questionable culinary choices from the very back of the fridge. I’m okay guys, really! See… I go out and do things with friends. At casinos. Classy.

MUSIC TUNES NOTES. All my gentlemen pals at the Louisiana  War Veteran’s Home are doing really well. I go visit with them each Saturday and play piano. It’s pretty neat how different homes like different genres. The assisted living facility in Minot, North Dakota requested mostly Lutheran hymns. This also goes for the center I was playing for in town here (I’ve since haven’t returned after begging for months to be placed on their entertainment schedule). The War Vets home likes country music, like Hank Williams and Slim Whitman jams (Slim’s my jam, I’m a big collector)… but they also appreciate honky tonky show tunes. Very interesting. Anyway, I get over there once a week or more if I have the time. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than doling out weekly hugs to handsome elderly vets. ♥

SHAME. Oh man, I’m thirty now, by the way. I like it. The first thing that happened to me when I got up after turning thirty was drive down the highway & get propositioned for freeway exit sex with obscene gestures. Shame on you, Missouri drivers. SHAME. Speaking of which, I can play Rains of Castamere on the piano. Don’t all you brides-to-be be blowin’ up my phone for me to play at your receptions. Well, if I ever answered my phone.

ANSISTERY. Lastly, I did a fancy DNA spit cup test at Ancestry.com to find out my ethnicity. Oh before all you freedom fighters get all crazy, the military already has my DNA on file. So it’s a non-issue. Anyway! I got this eyeopening look at what makes me, ME… from a ’round the world standpoint. I was always told I was “Half Italian (speak it third best), German, and Irish.” Well, I am just as much Irish as I am Middle Eastern! How cool is that? I even have DNA from PAPUA NEW GUINEA! So baller I can’t even handle it! Anyway here are the actual results:


Larry got 100% European. Figures.

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Been Busy!

MINOT PRIDE. This past Saturday was a semi-impromptu gathering for Minot’s LBGT community at Sweet and Flour Bakery downtown. I say impromptu because the organizer, a co-worker of mine, thought it up just a week earlier when we saw him at 10 North Main. In just a week’s time, the word spread and there was well over one hundred attendees packed into a tiny pastry shop! Now, if you remember waaaay back to a year ago, about this time, said Sweet and Flour of Minot had a pre-opening gala until midnight. Luckily for me, it was my birthday and I headed over there to try a bakery selection in lieu of a birthday cake. It was so terrible, I didn’t have a desire to go back. Until now — because of the good reason! Anyway, the cupcake was still dry and sawdust-like, but the pastries were pretty legit. There were guests from all styles and walks of life, including straight couples from work, straight singles from work, pseudo-crossdressing teenage boys, an older man in drag, hot scenester lesbians, and of course, everything in-between. It was a really nice time and Larry was a very good sport about it all. We wanted to support our friend from work, and I think he was thrilled with the success & popularity of his get together!

TOO MANY TWINKIES. The Saturday last week that I volunteered to help out with the Wounded Warrior 5K Race, I wasn’t able to visit and play the piano for the elderly folks at Trinity Homes like I usually do that day. I figured nobody would really notice too much, anyway.

Totally wrong.

“How come you didn’t come by last weekend?”
“I missed that beautiful piano playing.”
“You weren’t here last week; I thought you might be doing an exercise On-Base.”

This week, Trinity Homes was short their usual volunteers, so I hit a double dose of piano-and-help-out action on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning, I helped out with the “Hope Floats Minot 5K”, which is for a park to be rebuilt due to our flood of 2011, and was able to go help out with my elderly entourage. Anyway, the Trinity Homes church service there was surprisingly legit — the pastor reminded me of the one back home, at the where church I’d go with my Gramma. The dude plays organ and sings. He’s like a one man church service. Dem skillz.

Here is a picture of me and Rachel, on a BUFF training mission. The ladies have it! She was the Radar Navigator, and I was kicking it old school as Navigator. Since I upgraded, I rarely get to sit in the Navigator seat (and do flight timing control). Usually the brand new navigators I fly with are more comfortable in the navigator seat, because that’s what they’re used to.

MUSTY PAGES. Holy crap, Mitch Clem’s My Stupid Life and Nothing Nice to Say comics. Blast from the past. It makes me kinda sad, though; nostalgic I suppose, but not a place I’d like to revisit readily. That compartment of my brain has a lot of nerd knowledge packed into it (like a friggin’ space bag), but has been set to mothballs. Like I tell people I meet in the military, I had an entire life before I joined the Air Force. I wasn’t one of those “live with your parents, move out to college to live in a dorm and do ROTC or the academy, then move into the dorms at flight school, then move into an apartment near base (or on base). I moved thirteen times total in college. I couch surfed when I didn’t have anywhere to stay between moves. I worked some pretty neat jobs while putting myself through college. Like I said, an entire life. It’s like a new chapter is being written, and the previous ones have been closed and printed. This comic illustrates it nicely.

TUROK, TRASH HUNTER. So in the evenings, when Larry and I take Otto for his walk, I bring a plastic bag along to go trash hunting. And trash hunting is just a more brutal way to say “pick up garbage”. The census is in: people who smoke Marlboros (or any cigarettes, really), eat Taco John’s, and drink beer or Arizona Iced Tea are the biggest litterbugs. Oh yeah, Monster drinks, too. Keep it classy, Minotians. Combine all of those and you might get a super righteous kidney stone.

JUST PALS AROUND. Yesterday, Otto went a new pal’s house. A new lieutenant in my squadron just moved here, with his small beagle and miniature dachshund (she is 8 lbs.! If you remember, I had a miniature dachshund that was 7.5 lbs.). Anyway, they are moving into their lovely new home, complete with a big, grassy fenced backyard. Otto immediately started playing with the beagle, as the mini each just barked. I guess I’d be scared of someone twice my size, too! Yes, it’s a “play date” for dogs — we people who don’t have kids have play dates, too. Toddler not required.

FASHION. And here is your obligatory fashion photo. Usually I post outfit ideas, but I wanted to show off my new shoes I got on Ebay. I saw them in Guam while deployed, but the store’s clientele is mostly tiny Japanese people, who don’t stock anything over a women’s 9 for their tiny feet. Because of the short toe box of these shoes, I needed a 9.5, when I am regularly an 8.5. Chanel and Louboutin, get your toe box/sizing under control, for real! So thanks, Ebay, for not selling me a fake pair of Chanel shoes, and at an amazingly low price. The dress is by Stop Staring! and is universally flattering on everyone. Sneaky stripes… This is from my birthday dinner with Larry last weekend.

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Athletic Supporter

SHAPING UP. — I re-accomplished my Air Force Physical Training test this week. This is a comparison of my score from just a month ago with last Wednesday’s test results:

In 60 Seconds:
Pushups: 31 / 26 (I didn’t want to fatigue my core for the sit-ups a minute later)
Sit-ups: 31 / 44

1.5 Mile Run: 12’30” / 12’10”
Waist: 28″ / 28″
Weight (lbs): 146/136 (height: 5’9″)

With these statistics, I scored a 92.6%. Just to further drive home how flawed the Air Force fitness tests are, you can still “fail” the test by not meeting the set minimums (even with my score of 86.2% from a month ago). Also, you start the 1.5 mile run from a dead stop. Super healthy…

And speaking of super healthy, I attended the fatbody’s “people who failed their PT test class”, which is mandatory, to learn about how to eat right, exercise and goal-setting (sigh). When going around the room, with the question posed of “What things have you heard about healthy eating?”, I replied curtly “Don’t eat food with labels.”

It took everyone a minute

LEAVE JOBS. — Lots of changes at work lately. After a year as the squadron executive officer, I have moved to working in Standards and Evaluations. I help organize all the folder that contain check rides and tests for air crew. Honestly, it’s a step down in a way. Usually you get hooked up, as a former executive officer, with a more “unique” job, but I have a feeling I was just stuck in a dark corner to get rid of me until I (supposedly) move this fall/winter. I also didn’t get the opportunity to deploy overseas with my squadron; with no real reason why. The new job is super easy, and way less stressful than the exec job. I likened the new office to a library; it’s super quiet, and there’s fake, dusty trees in the office. Luckily, I have my iPod.

I put all my effort into my former job. It seems so strange to me they’d put me in a box and shove me upstairs, away from the rest of the squadron, when I love people and helping people so much. Nobody ever comes upstairs (especially now that the whole squadron is deployed). People need help with all sorts of things and they come ask me. Makes you feel purposeful; now, not so much. But hopefully it’ll only be six months or so before I move South… and get shoved into a dark, dusty corner again.

In good news at work, I took my flight to become considered experienced as a Radar Navigator in the B-52. This means I get to call all the shots downstairs in the offensive (weapons) compartment. People look to me on the crew to be the authority on all the combat systems management and weapons. When shit happens, I’m supposed to know how to fix it. Next stop is instructor. Woof. Wonder how much I’ll have to pay someone off for that certification… ha!

It did make me feel pretty swell to hear the big squadron bosses talking hush-hush about who should be an alternate for deployment (it’s a long haul out to the deployment location), and I just got signed off as experienced on Friday. One major said “I evaluated her and she can definitely take charge and run things accordingly.” Well, shit. I was asked to be an alternate. Doesn’t mean I get to go along with my squadron overseas, but finally, a glimmer of an “attaboy”. Those are extremely rare and far-between in this line of work, and rightfully so. No blowing smoke up your butt… at least I wouldn’t want it that way.

SO LONG. — Here is a photo of one of the last times I’ll see ol’ Devin and Amie for a while. & last night, I took Amie out for dinner on me. Lots of ladies take out their best gal pal for dinner or coffee. But it’s not because you won’t see them for half a year or so. I suppose this is one of the reasons I joined the military — for all the experiences. Civilians can’t always understand saying farewell to your spouse for a year or more. Wondering if you can get time away to see your family this year due to the MAJCOM schedule, and feeling guilty taking the time off because you don’t want to let your squadron down during inspections or exercises. Continuous credit and background checks, monitored personal e-mails. And let me tell ya: nail art is totally out.

Here is a summer look I just invested in. Yes, it’s still 23°F here in Minot, North Dakota, but I feel like if I lighten my hair, stock up on shorts and self-tanner, the six feet of snow piled on my front lawn might dissipate more quickly. Sure thing.